Staying focused on a plan is always the hardest part about losing weight. While positive feedback does provide encouragement when you first start dropping sizes, it inevitably wanes. And with our tendency to use food as emotional support, slipping back into old eating patterns when we’re stressed, makes it doubly difficult to stay on course.
How then do you stay on target? Here are the tips to lose weight:
A)Eat when you are hungry
Eating junk food when you are hungry can cause a crash in energy, and create a craving for more food. But if you eat protein with every meal along with complex carbs like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans, you’ll be able to regulate your food intake better.
B)Set SMART goals
Setting goals is crucial for weight loss.
Using the SMART method can help you set goals that are attainable and allow you to track your progress. SMART stands for:
- Specific. Avoid setting goals that are too vague. For example, try “I will increase my physical activity by 20 minutes each day” instead of “I will exercise more.”
- Measurable. Set goals that you can easily track, like increasing the number of minutes you exercise or how many steps you take.
- Attainable. Focus on setting achievable goals and expand from there. For example, if you’d like to work up to an hour a day of exercise, but are currently unable to do so, start with a more realistic goal like 20 minutes a day. Then, gradually increase your workout length as you build endurance.
- Relevant. Make sure each goal ties directly to your overall desire to lose weight. For example, increasing exercise is relevant to weight loss, but setting screen time limits is less so.
- Time-bound. Give yourself a deadline for each goal. This holds you accountable and helps measure progress. For example, you could plan to re-evaluate your physical activity each month, look at your progress, and set a new goal of increasing your exercise the next month.
When overweight people see food, they think of how it’s going to taste. Slim people, on the other hand, focus on the consequences-how fattening is that going to be? Practice imagining how you’ll feel after consuming weight-increasing food. Keep it up until this becomes a natural habit for you. It may seem simple, but this change in mindset is truly effective.
D)Surround yourself with fit friends
Losing weight is easier when you have support from others. This doesn’t mean you isolate your overweight friends. Just make sure you’re also in touch with people who understand your struggle and can help you push forward. Teaming up with friends or family members who also want to lose weight can help you stay motivated when you’re struggling and allow you to hold each other accountable.
E)Adjust your environment
your surroundings help you make healthy choices for weight loss. You can do this by:
- Stocking your fridge with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Laying out your workout clothes before going to bed so you are more motivated to work out in the morning.
- Choosing restaurants with lots of healthy dishes.
- Preparing a list before grocery shopping. This will help you know exactly what to get and help cut down on impulse buys.
F)Don’t be too strict
There will be slip-ups. But that doesn’t mean you quit the plan. You could lose 5 kg, have a weak moment and gain back 2. At this point, don’t throw caution to the wind and just binge. Instead, be prepared for this fluctuation by having a ‘sliding scale’ in your mind that allows 1-2 kg around your target weight.